http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/article/article/ww.icecapassetmanagement.com en 25 Years Of Neocon-Neoliberalism: Great For The Top 5%, A Disaster For Everyone Else http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/25-years-neocon-neoliberalism-great-top-5-disaster-everyone-else <p><a href="http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2017/01/25-years-of-neocon-neoliberalism-great.html"><em>Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,</em></a></p> <p><em>It cannot be merely coincidental that the incomes and wealth of the top 5% have pulled away from the stagnating 95% in the 25 years dominated by neocon-neoliberalism.</em></p> <p><strong>One unexamined narrative I keep hearing is: &quot;OK, so neocon-neoliberalism was less than ideal, but Trump could be much worse.&quot; Let&#39;s start by asking: would Syrian civilians agree with this assessment?</strong> The basic idea in the &quot;OK, so neocon-neoliberalism was less than ideal, but Trump could be much worse&quot; narrative is that the modest problems created by neocon-neoliberalism will pale next to what Trump will do, implying jackbooted Waffen SS troops will soon be marching through America on Trump&#39;s orders.</p> <p><strong>This narrative is yet another example of American parochialism:</strong> since neocon-neoliberalism didn&#39;t cause American cities to be bombed and its institutions demolished, it&#39;s really not that bad.</p> <p><strong>Try telling that to the Iraqis, Libyans and Syrians who have been on the receiving end of neocon-neoliberalism policies.</strong> The reality is very unpleasant: <em>for those targeted by America&#39;s neocon-neoliberalism, nothing worse is imaginable, because the worst has already happened.</em></p> <p><strong>The cold reality is America&#39;s 25 years of neocon-neoliberalism has been great for the top 5% and an unmitigated disaster for everyone else in the U.S. and the nations it has targeted for intervention.</strong></p> <p>Those defending the Democratic Party&#39;s 16 years of neocon-neoliberalism (Clinton and Obama) and the Republican Party&#39;s 8 years of neocon-neoliberalism (Bush) are defending a system that benefited the few at the expense of the many.</p> <p>Rather than admit the past 25 years have been catastrophic for the bottom 95%, the apologists speak darkly of fantastical visions of a Nazi America as a diversion to the grim truth that <strong>they have blindly supported an evil Empire that has stripmined the bottom 95% in America and laid waste to entire nations abroad.</strong></p> <p><strong>Neoconservatism&#39;s malignant spores hatched in the Reagan years, and spread quickly after the collapse of the Soviet Union.</strong> Stripped to its essence, <em>Neoconservatism is American Exceptionalism turned into a global entitlement</em>: it&#39;s our right to intervene anywhere in the world we choose to defend what we perceive as our interests, and it&#39;s our right to impose our version of democracy and a market economy on other peoples.</p> <p><strong>Self-interest melds seamlessly with moral superiority in neocon-neoliberalism.</strong> The moral justification is: since ours is the best possible system, we&#39;re doing you a favor by tearing down your institutions and imposing our system on you. The self-interest is: garsh, the &quot;market&quot; we imposed extracts your resources and benefits our banks and corporations. Amazing, isn&#39;t it, how &quot;free markets&quot; benefit everyone?</p> <p><strong>But not equally.</strong> The claim of neoliberalism is: everything is transformed for the better when it is turned into a market. Once buyers and sellers can meet in a transparent marketplace, everybody prospers and everything becomes more efficient.</p> <p><strong>Stripped to its essence, neoliberalism is: the markets we set up are rigged to favor those at the top.</strong> All that talk about free markets is just public-relations cover to mask an intrinsically rigged quasi-market that has features of &quot;real&quot; markets while beneath the surface, it&#39;s rigged to the advantage of big players at the top of the wealth-power pyramid.</p> <p><strong>Neoconservatism and neoliberalism are both inherently global</strong>, and so globalization is the necessary outcome. There is no market that cannot be skimmed for outsized profits once it has been globalized, and so once bat guano becomes a global tradeable commodity, Goldman Sachs establishes a bat guano trading desk. (This is a spoof, but you get the point.)</p> <p>Neoconservatism entitles the U.S. to have an &quot;interest&quot; (as in profitable interest) in every nook and cranny of the planet. Policy changes in Lower Slobovia? It&#39;s in our &quot;interest&quot; to monitor those changes and intervene if the policies are &quot;not in our interests.&quot;</p> <p><strong>Neocon-neoliberalism is brilliantly evil because it masks its true objectives behind such warm and fuzzy PR.</strong> Those looking for enemies of the people will find them not on the streets of America in cartoonish display but in the corridors of financial and policy power.</p> <p><strong>Dear apologists of the status quo: do you understand you&#39;re defending this?</strong></p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2016/wealth-pyramid2015.png" width="550" /></p> <p><strong>Notice how the wealth of the bottom 90% nosedived once neocon-neoliberalism became the de facto policy of Democrats and Republicans alike.</strong> No wonder Obama&#39;s two terms seemed like Bush terms 3 and 4--in terms of a continuation of neocon-neoliberalism, they were.</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2017/wealth-distribution1-17.jpg" width="550" /></p> <p>Yes, profound changes in technology, automation, and geopolitics have influenced finance and wealth, but it cannot be merely coincidental that the incomes and wealth of the top 5% have pulled away from the stagnating 95% in the 25 years dominated by neocon-neoliberalism:</p> <p><img align="middle" border="0" class="wide" src="http://www.oftwominds.com/photos2016/top5-spending2.png" width="550" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="554" height="291" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170120_chs.jpg?1484948114" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/25-years-neocon-neoliberalism-great-top-5-disaster-everyone-else#comments Conservatism in the United Kingdom Conservatism in the United States Democratic Party Economic liberalism Economy Globalization goldman sachs Goldman Sachs International relations theory Neoconservatism Neoliberalism Political philosophy Political terminology Politics Reality Republican Party Right-wing politics Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:55:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 586018 at http://www.zerohedge.com Meanwhile In The Oval Office... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/meanwhile-oval-office <p><em>"no more years..."</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_obamaoval.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_obamaoval_0.jpg" width="600" height="409" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://michaelpramirez.com/index.html"><em>Source: MichaelPRamirez.com</em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="1081" height="736" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170120_obamaoval.jpg?1484936699" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/meanwhile-oval-office#comments Baseball Hall of Fame balloting Cinema of the United States Correlated subquery Elo rating system Film censorship in the United States Motion Picture Association of America film rating system Passer rating Rating Technology Wine rating Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:30:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 586017 at http://www.zerohedge.com Senate Confirms Mattis (Defense) & Kelly (Homeland) On Trump's First Day http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/senate-confirms-mattis-defense-kelly-homeland-trumps-first-day <p>Just hours after President Trump was sworn into office, amid Chuck Schumer&#39;s jabs over HUD, the Senate has <strong>confirmed retired Marine General James Mattis as defense secretary and retired Marine General John Kelly as homeland security secretary</strong>. They were both expected to be confirmed easily, and were, but <strong>Democrats promised fights over several other nominees</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_senate.jpg"><img height="216" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_senate.jpg" width="565" /></a></p> <p><u><strong>Mattis was the first to be confirmed by a vote of 98 to 1</strong></u>... <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/defense/315382-senate-easily-confirms-mattis"><em>(as The Hill reports)</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><a href="http://thehill.com/policy/defense/315382-senate-easily-confirms-mattis"><em>&nbsp;</em></a><strong>The Senate on Friday easily confirmed James Mattis to be President Trump&rsquo;s secretary of Defense</strong>, hours after Trump&rsquo;s inauguration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Mattis, a retired Marine general who most recently served as commander of U.S. Central Command, is highly respected by both Republicans and Democrats for his military service.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He retired from the military in 2013, meaning he needed a waiver to bypass a law that says Defense secretaries must be out of uniform for at least seven years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Congress easily passed the waiver last week, and Trump signed the waiver legislation as his first act as president.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Some Democrats had expressed concern about granting Mattis the waiver,</strong> citing the need to maintain civilian control of the military. But the concerns were not enough to prevent Mattis from becoming Pentagon chief.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Followed shortly afterwards by Kelly</strong></u>...</p> <ul> <li><strong>*SENATE HAS VOTES TO CONFIRM KELLY FOR DHS, VOTE ONGOING</strong></li> </ul> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>As <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-munr-kazmir/general-john-kelly-for-department_b_14231734.html">Munr Kazmir wrote recently,</a> <strong>not only is Kelly a 45-year Marine whose impeccable credentials made him a four-star general, he&rsquo;s also a man who understands the real threat. </strong>Much like President-elect Trump, General Kelly sees the Southern border as our Achilles heel and the easiest way for those wishing to do us harm to get into this country and perpetrate an attack. With Kelly at the helm, the border will be made secure and that threat will be destroyed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>General Kelly has also shown the kind of guts the position of running the DHS demands. He strongly opposed President Obama&rsquo;s statements about closing the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay, realizing that having so many suspected terrorists hellbent on destroying the United States roaming free would pose a grave problem. He ruled Gitmo with an iron fist and ensured that it served its intended purpose.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And make no mistake, General Kelly will also stand up to President-elect Trump if he feels has to.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Back in January, the General told the Military Times, <strong><em>&ldquo;The one thing I was always told is you absolutely have to tell truth to power ... the decision makers have got to have ground truth,&rdquo; adding that, &ldquo;Otherwise, the decisions they make could be flawed &mdash; and that can be dangerous.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> </blockquote> <p><span><strong>Both Mr. Mattis and Mr. Kelly are retired Marine Corps generals.</strong> Federal law requires a seven-year waiting period between active duty and serving as the secretary of defense; Congress passed legislation last week granting a waiver to Mr. Mattis and Mr. Trump signed it on Friday.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-nominees-idUSKBN1532QQ"><em>As Reuters reports</em></a>, <strong>most of Trump&#39;s nominees will eventually be confirmed</strong>.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Under a <strong>rules change orchestrated by Democrats </strong>when they held a Senate majority, his selections need just 50 votes to pass the Senate, not the 60 that used to be required for a nomination to advance in the chamber.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Seven members of President Barack Obama&#39;s Cabinet were confirmed the day he took office, a number Republicans hoped to match for Trump. Schumer said the Obama nominees had completed their paperwork and ethics reviews while all of Trump&#39;s choices had not.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Underscoring the bitterness over the confirmation process, Schumer also said Democrats wanted roll call votes </strong>on Mattis and Kelly, rather than allowing their confirmation by voice vote.</p> </blockquote> <p><span>While <strong>Republicans sought to confirm a third national security nominee on Friday,</strong> Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas, the president&rsquo;s nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, Democrats planned to delay his approval, noting that he had not even been approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee as of Friday. As Bloomberg reports, <strong>t</strong></span><strong>hree Democratic senators &mdash; Ron Wyden of Oregon, Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut &mdash; objected to what they characterized as an overly speedy push to confirm Mr. Pompeo.</strong></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;The importance of the position of CIA Director, especially in these dangerous times, demands that the nomination be thoroughly vetted, questioned and debated,&rdquo; the senators said in a statement.</p> </blockquote> <p>The skirmish over nominees set a grim tone for the first day of Senate under the new president.</p> <p><strong>The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, chastised Democrats for delaying nominees, pointing out that the Senate had cleared seven such cabinet officials on President Obama&rsquo;s first day in office in 2009.</strong></p> <p>Democrats responded that Mr. McConnell had refused to even allow a hearing to be held for Mr. Obama&rsquo;s Supreme Court nominee, Judge Merrick M. Garland, during his last year in office.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;For those who have forgotten the record of the Republicans in the Senate when it comes to delaying nominations, Exhibit A will continue to be the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court,&rdquo; said Senator Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, on the senate floor, adding, &ldquo;That vacancy continued for political reasons regardless of the fact that it created at least a hardship and some confusion on the highest court of the land. It went on for 10, 11 months and it continues to this day.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>*SENATE WILL VOTE MONDAY ON POMPEO NOMINATION</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="565" height="216" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170120_senate.jpg?1484953098" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/senate-confirms-mattis-defense-kelly-homeland-trumps-first-day#comments American Presbyterians Barack Obama Business Cabinet of Donald Trump Central Intelligence Agency Congress Donald Trump Illinois James Mattis Mike Pence Mike Pompeo Mitch McConnell national security Nomination Pentagon Politics Politics of the United States President Barack Obama's Cabinet President Obama Reuters Richard Blumenthal Senate Senate Intelligence Committee Supreme Court U.S. Central Command U.S. Supreme Court United States United States Marine Corps United States Secretary of Homeland Security Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:07:30 +0000 Tyler Durden 586028 at http://www.zerohedge.com Trump And A New Gold-Backed Dollar http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/trump-and-new-gold-backed-dollar <p><a href="http://www.internationalman.com/articles/trump-and-a-new-gold-backed-dollar"><em>Submitted by Nick Giambruno via InternationalMan.com,</em></a></p> <p><em><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_trumpgold.jpg"><img height="448" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_trumpgold.jpg" width="587" /></a></em></p> <p><strong>On August 15, 1971, President Nixon killed the last remnants of the gold standard.</strong></p> <p>Since then, the dollar has been a pure fiat currency, allowing the Fed to print as many dollars as it pleases.</p> <p>Removing the US dollar&rsquo;s last link to gold eliminated the main motivation for foreign countries to store large dollar reserves and to use the dollar for international trade.</p> <p>At this point, demand for dollars was set to fall&hellip; along with the dollar&rsquo;s purchasing power. So the US government concocted a new arrangement to give foreign countries another compelling reason to hold and use the dollar.</p> <p><strong>The new arrangement, called the petrodollar system, preserved the dollar&rsquo;s special status as the world&rsquo;s reserve currency.</strong></p> <p>In short, the US government made a series of agreements with Saudi Arabia between 1972 and 1974, which created the petrodollar.</p> <p>The Saudis would use their dominant position in OPEC to ensure that&nbsp;all oil transactions would only happen in US dollars. And the US would guarantee the House of Saud&rsquo;s survival.</p> <p><strong>It worked&hellip; for a while.</strong></p> <p>The petrodollar filled the void after the US severed the dollar&rsquo;s last link to gold as the main prop to the dollar&rsquo;s status as the world&rsquo; premier reserve currency.</p> <p>So far, the petrodollar has lasted over 40 years. However, the glue is losing its stick.</p> <p><strong>I think we&rsquo;re on the cusp of another paradigm shift in the international financial system, a change at least as fundamental as what happened in 1971 when Nixon severed the dollar&rsquo;s last link to gold.</strong></p> <p>The relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US hit historic lows in 2016. I only expect it to get worse. Trump is the first president since the petrodollar system was enacted to be openly hostile toward the Saudis.</p> <p><strong><span style="text-decoration: underline;">The death of the petrodollar system is my No. 1 black swan event for 2017.</span></strong></p> <p><em><strong>It raises the question: What will fill the void when the petrodollar inevitably dies?</strong></em></p> <p><u><strong>When that happens&mdash;and it may be imminent&mdash;something has to replace it. I think there are only two options.</strong></u></p> <p>Naturally, the global elite want to centralize more power into global institutions. In this case, that means the International Monetary Fund (IMF).</p> <p><u><strong>The IMF issues a type of international currency called the &ldquo;Special Drawing Right,&rdquo; or SDR.</strong></u></p> <p><strong>The SDR is nothing new. The globalists have been slowly building it up since 1969. In the near future, it could be used as the premier international currency&mdash;the role the dollar has played since the end of World War 2.</strong></p> <p>The SDR is simply a basket of other fiat currencies. The US dollar makes up 42%, the euro 31%, the Chinese renminbi 11%, the Japanese yen 8%, and the British pound 8%.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a fiat currency based on other fiat currencies&hellip; a floating abstraction based on other floating abstractions.</p> <p>The SDR is not based on sound economics or the interests of the common man. It&rsquo;s just another cockamamie invention of the economic witch doctors in academia and government.</p> <p>The SDR is dangerous. It gives the government&mdash;in this case, a global government&mdash;more power. It&rsquo;s a bridge to a powerful global monetary authority, and eventually a global currency.</p> <p>Most decent people would consider this a bad thing. That&rsquo;s why the global elite cloud their scheme with dull and opaque names like &ldquo;Special Drawing Right.&rdquo;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s an old trick. Governments have used it for eons.</p> <p>The Federal Reserve is an excellent example. After two failed central banking experiments in the 1800s, anything associated with a central bank became deeply unpopular with the American public. So, central bank advocates tried a fresh branding strategy.</p> <p>Rather than call their new central bank the Third Bank of the United States (the previous two were the First and Second Banks of the United States), they gave it a vague and boring name. They called it &ldquo;the Federal Reserve&rdquo; and managed to hide it in plain sight from the average person.</p> <p>Nearly 100 years later, most Americans don&rsquo;t have the slightest clue what the Federal Reserve is, what it does, or how it has eroded their standard of living.</p> <p>I think the same dynamic is at work with the IMF&rsquo;s &ldquo;Special Drawing Right.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>The breakdown of the petrodollar is the perfect excuse for the globalists to usher in their SDR solution.</strong></p> <p>So that&rsquo;s the first option. It&rsquo;s the global elites&rsquo; preferred outcome. It would be a very bad thing for personal and economic freedom. It means more fiat currency, more centralization, and less freedom for the individual.</p> <p><u><strong>The second option is to simply return to gold as the premier international money.</strong></u> Here&rsquo;s how it could happen&hellip;</p> <p>Trump might play along with the globalists&rsquo; schemes, but I doubt it. He&rsquo;s the first president who&rsquo;s openly and sincerely hostile toward globalism. He&rsquo;s denounced it repeatedly.</p> <p>Trump recently said, &ldquo;We will no longer surrender this country, or its people, to the false song of globalism.&rdquo;</p> <p>In my view, there&rsquo;s only one way Trump could fight the global elites and their SDR plan: return the dollar to some sort of gold backing.</p> <p><strong>Trump has said favorable things about gold in the past. So have some of his advisers.</strong></p> <p>It wouldn&rsquo;t be easy. He&rsquo;d face one hell of a struggle with the globalists. And winning would be far from certain.</p> <p>No matter what, the death of the petrodollar, just like the end of the dollar&rsquo;s link to gold, will be very good for the dollar price of gold and gold mining stocks.</p> <p><strong>When Nixon took the dollar off gold in 1971, gold skyrocketed over 2,300%. It shot from $35 per ounce to a high of $850 in 1980. Gold mining stocks did even better.</strong></p> <p>Gold is still bouncing around its lows. Gold mining stocks are still very cheap. I expect returns to be at least as great as they were during that paradigm shift in the international monetary system.</p> <p><a href="http://www.caseyresearch.com/go/tkmne-2/MAN"><em><strong>All this is why what happens after Trump&rsquo;s inauguration could change everything&hellip; in sudden, unexpected ways.</strong></em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="587" height="448" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170120_trumpgold.jpg?1484940133" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/trump-and-new-gold-backed-dollar#comments Black Swan British Pound Business Currency Dollar Economy Federal Reserve Foreign exchange market Gold standard International Monetary Fund International Monetary Fund International trade Monetary hegemony Money OPEC Organization of Petroleum-Exporting Countries Petrodollar recycling Purchasing Power Renminbi Reserve Currency Reserve currency Saudi Arabia Special drawing rights US Federal Reserve US government World currency Yen Fri, 20 Jan 2017 23:05:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 586014 at http://www.zerohedge.com Apple Sues Qualcomm For $1 Billion http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/apple-sues-qualcomm-1-billion <p>It has gone from bad to worse for mobile chipmaker Qualcom, which just days after getting sued by the US government, which accused the chipmaker of engaging in monopoly tactics over mobile phone components, <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-lawsuit-qualcomm-idUSKBN1542SG">was also sued this afternoon </a>by the world's biggest company. Apple filed a $1 billion lawsuit against its supplier, accusing Qualcomm of overcharging for its chips and refusing to pay some $1 billion in promised rebates for chip purchases. Apple said in its complaint that Qualcomm demanded onerous terms for its technology and that it withheld rebates because Apple cooperated with South Korea's antitrust regulator, the Korea Fair Trade Commission, in its probe into Qualcomm licensing practice.</p> <p>The KFTC fined Qualcomm Inc 1.03 trillion won ($854 million) in December for what it called unfair practices in patent licensing, a decision the U.S. chipmaker said it will challenge in court.</p> <p>In its statement, Apple said that Qualcomm has taken "radical steps," including "withholding nearly $1 billion in payments from Apple as retaliation for responding truthfully to law enforcement agencies investigating them."</p> <p>Apple added, "Despite being just one of over a dozen companies who contributed to basic cellular standards, Qualcomm insists on charging Apple at least five times more in payments than all the other cellular patent licensors we have agreements with combined."</p> <p>"If that were not enough, Qualcomm then attempted to extort Apple into changing its responses and providing false information to the KFTC in exchange for Qualcomm's release of those payments to Apple. Apple refused," Apple also said.</p> <p>According to the Apple complaint, Qualcomm’s terms required Apple to pay a percentage of the average selling price of an iPhone to use Qualcomm patents and to exclusively use Qualcomm chips in iPhones from at least 2011 to 2016. Apple received what it called quarterly rebates from Qualcomm under terms of the agreement, but Qualcomm began withholding those last year after Apple met with Korean regulators, the suit says.</p> <p>The lawsuit is surprising in that Qualcomm is a major supplier to both Apple and its arch nemesis, Samsung Electronics for "modem" chips that help phones connect to wireless networks. The two companies together accounted for 40% of Qualcomm's $23.5 billion in revenue in its most recent fiscal year. Furthermore, Qualcomm was the sole supplier of modem chips for Apple’s phones until the release of the iPhone 7 in September. Intel Corp supplied about half of the modem chips for the newest models, said Stacy Rasgon, a senior analyst at Bernstein Research.</p> <p>Apple made the move around the same time that Samsung, which had switched to using its own internal chips for its Galaxy S6 phones, returned to Qualcomm for the Galaxy S7.</p> <p>Meanwhile, Qualcomm's legal problems continue to pile up. In February 2015, the company paid a $975 million fine in China following a 14-month probe, while the European Union in December 2015 accused it of abusing its market power to thwart rivals. In Washington on Tuesday, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Qualcomm, saying the San Diego-based company used its dominant position as a supplier of certain phone chips to impose "onerous" supply and licensing terms on cellphone manufacturers like Apple and to weaken competitors.</p> <p>For now, Qualcomm "has been able to manage through (the Apple contract loss) pretty well because they got back Samsung at the same time," Rasgon said, however sensing weakness how long until Samsung likewise attacks its key vendor demanding easier terms too? Judging by the modest reaction in QCOM's stock, the market does not see that as a likely possibility.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/qcom%20lawsuit.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/qcom%20lawsuit_0.jpg" width="500" height="294" /></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="311" height="162" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/qcom.jpg?1484952787" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/apple-sues-qualcomm-1-billion#comments Apple Apple Inc. Business cellular telephone certain phone chips China Computer hardware Computing European Union European Union Fabless semiconductor companies HSA Foundation IOS IPhone 7 Korea Fair Trade Commission modem chips Qualcomm Samsung Electronics Semiconductor companies System on a chip Technology Technology U.S. Federal Trade Commission US government Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:54:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 586027 at http://www.zerohedge.com Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman 2016 Pay: $22,500,000 http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/morgan-stanley-ceo-james-gorman-2016-pay-22500000 <p>With all eyes focused on Washington, on a Friday evening, Morgan Stanley just revealed that 58-year-old Morgan Stanley CEO James &quot;don&#39;t call me Jim&quot; Gorman was paid $22.5 million. Despite a notable drop in earnings from expectations and a focus on cost-cutting, <strong>Gorman got a 7.1% pay rise (<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-19/jamie-dimons-2016-pay-28000000"><em>almost double that of Jamie Dimon</em></a>)</strong>.</p> <p><em><strong>Analysts expected Morgan Stanley to earn $3.155 in 2016. By the end of 2016 the firm realized just $2.756...</strong></em> but thanks to Trump&#39;s election victory, the stock soared...</p> <p><img height="320" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_MS_0.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p>As Bloomberg notes,<strong> Gorman received $1.5 million in salary as well as restricted stock units,</strong> Mark Lake, a company spokesman, said Friday. The restricted stock is valued at about $5 million based on Wednesday&rsquo;s closing price. The New York-based firm will report other components of Gorman&rsquo;s pay package in coming months.</p> <p><strong>Gorman&rsquo;s pay for 2015 was $21 million, down 6.7 percent from the prior year.</strong> He typically receives at least half of his compensation in the form of restricted shares. Some vest over time depending on the bank&rsquo;s return on equity and stock performance relative to the S&amp;P Financials Index, while the remainder vests over three years regardless of financial results. Part of his cash payouts also have been deferred over three years.</p> <p><strong>The CEO in November made his first sale of Morgan Stanley stock since he joined the bank in 2006. </strong>He sold shares and exercised stock options for a net gain of about $10 million, regulatory filings show.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_gorman1.jpg"><img alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_gorman1_0.jpg" style="width: 600px; height: 255px;" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Gorman&#39;s pay raise comes as the firm has shifted its focus toward wealth management with <strong>a $1 billion expense-reduction program,</strong>&nbsp;improving the wealth unit&#39;s profit margin and increasing shareholder capital return are key in its effort to improve return on equity.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="330" height="171" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170120_gorman.jpg?1484947662" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/morgan-stanley-ceo-james-gorman-2016-pay-22500000#comments Business Finance Financial services House of Morgan Jamie Dimon Jamie Dimon Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Money Morgan Stanley Morgan Stanley Primary dealers Restricted Stock S&P financials Stock Subprime mortgage crisis Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:40:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 586016 at http://www.zerohedge.com The Following Words Had Never Appeared In An Inaugural Address, Until Today http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/following-words-had-never-appeared-inaugural-address-until-today <p>That Trump's inaugural address was provocative is putting it mildly. Nowhere was this more obvious than in the <a href="https://www.ft.com/content/8a9eae5c-df27-11e6-86ac-f253db7791c6?ftcamp=published_links%2Frss%2Fcomment%2Ffeed%2F%2Fproduct">initial reaction of the Financial Times</a>. Consider the following excerpt:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>For most presidents, a first inaugural address has been the occasion to set out a personal vision of the American idea. You do not necessarily lose points for failing to set out policy in granular detail. You are playing mood-music, making it as stirring as possible and positioning yourself in the grand flow of American history: reminding your audience of an essential continuity. <strong>Mr Trump’s theme was the opposite. From his first words, he stressed discontinuity: that his presidency would be a break. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Today’s ceremony, however, has a very special meaning because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington DC, and giving it back to you, the people.” </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That audience-shaping attempt, at least, had the right idea. Mr Trump made a lot of play with the second and first-persons plural: “This is your day”; “We will bring back our jobs.” But he positioned his “great movement” in a way that suggested not that the Washington government was the expression of democracy but its enemy<strong>. It was an unusually rancorous, backward look, given what he said about unity and solidarity. It was a dismissal of, rather than a humble doffing of the cap to, history. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>[R]ewarmed like a tray of unappetising leftovers, were the familiar slogans of the campaigning Mr Trump. “The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.” “America will start winning again, winning like never before.” “All talk and no action.” “America first, America first.” They were greeted with what, at least on the television relays, sounded like distinctly halfhearted applause. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And here — during his sporadic attempts at the high style — were some awkwardly half-formed figures of speech. To say “we stand at the birth of a new millennium” sounds grand but, unless you have a 1,000-year regime in mind, if you can say that in 2017 you can say it any time you like. “We are one nation and their pain is our pain” would have worked if “they” had been specified. It wasn’t. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He spoke of “rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation”; of how “a new national pride will stir ourselves (sic), lift our sights and heal our divisions”; of how “a new vision will govern”; of how “we will shine for everyone to follow”; of how “the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon”. Each of those phrases is intended to resonate — but each, like a bell cast with a fault, makes a slight clunk.</p> </blockquote> <p>And the punchline:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>The speech’s most memorable phrase was “American carnage”. </strong>As well as being, unfortunately, the title of a thrash metal tour a few years back, it is memorable because it sounds slightly wrong. You want an audience to associate pride, dreams, prosperity, unity, freedom, hope and suchlike with the word “American” — not “carnage”.</p> </blockquote> <p>Etc. </p> <p>While we won't comment on the FT's visceral reaction to the speech (<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/stocks-slump-trump-warns-were-transferring-power-washington-people">full transcript here</a>) - clearly the establishment mouthpiece was not happy with the words that came out of Trump's mouth - and while readers can make up their own mind about Trump's address, we do want to point something out. </p> <p>Like everything else about him, Trump's speech was indeed a break from established tradition, and nowhere was this more obvious than in the selection of words that had <strong>never appeared previously </strong>in any US inaugural address.&nbsp; Some of them: <strong>bleed, carnage, depletion, disrepair, flush, Islamic, ripped, sad, rusted, sprawl, stealing, stolen, subsidized, tombstones, trapped, trillions, unstoppable.<br /></strong></p> <p>The full list is below.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/trump%20speech%20cloud.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/trump%20speech%20cloud_0.jpg" width="500" height="327" /></a></p> <p>Indeed, the speech was so unorthodox it even stunned Trump advisor Carl Icahn. As <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/20/one-thing-about-trumps-inaugural-address-surprised-carl-icahn.html">he told CNBC</a>, "<strong>Donald surprised me coming on so strongly about the establishment. I admire him for doing that."&nbsp; </strong></p> <p>"I admire him for not just trying to say, 'Wow. Let's smooth it over. Let's be buddies.' I mean, he came on extremely strongly and he's giving you a look at what the future, I think, is going to be," Icahn added.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Icahn, Trump's special advisor on regulatory reform, said he expects the 45th president of the United States to take a confrontational approach, to some extent. Yet he argued that may be a good thing because it will promote change. </p> </blockquote> <p>"I think you have to break up this establishment. You have to stop the perception which we have in this country that the government is at war with business, that the government doesn't like business and that's what you've had for eight years with Obama," Icahn said.</p> <p>We have yet to see if Trump will indeed follow up with his promises, or his belligerent speech. We do have one last question, however: did Trump really "borrow" a part of his address from... Bane?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-video"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Wait... what!?<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Inauguration?src=hash">#Inauguration</a> <a href="https://t.co/zs8rx1MjMc">pic.twitter.com/zs8rx1MjMc</a></p> <p>— Jahova (@JahovasWitniss) <a href="https://twitter.com/JahovasWitniss/status/822502060717314048">January 20, 2017</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="205" height="115" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/trump%20bane.jpg?1484951182" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/following-words-had-never-appeared-inaugural-address-until-today#comments Carl Icahn Doffing ETC Twitter Twitter Washington government Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:28:26 +0000 Tyler Durden 586025 at http://www.zerohedge.com Summing Up 8 Years Of Barack Obama http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/summing-8-years-barack-obama <p><a href="https://www.sovereignman.com/expat/summing-up-8-years-of-barack-obama-20697/"><em>Submitted by Simon Black via SovereignMan.com,</em></a></p> <p>It&rsquo;s hard to argue with Barack Obama&rsquo;s jump shot. I can&rsquo;t imagine Rutherford B. Hayes having that kind of game.</p> <p>Or his swagger. Comedic timing. Even charisma.</p> <p>And there have been plenty of times over the last eight years when, in all seriousness, those qualities have truly mattered.</p> <p>I can&rsquo;t imagine anyone not getting goose bumps when President Obama sang Amazing Grace during the eulogy of Reverend Clementa Pinckney in 2015 after the horrific church shooting in Charleston.</p> <p><strong>During his presidency he had thrust upon him the impossible task of consoling an entire nation over and over again. Personality truly mattered.</strong></p> <p><strong>But tangible, productive results are an entirely different story, and that&rsquo;s what I want to examine today.</strong></p> <p>I&rsquo;ve read a number of articles this week which glowingly praise President Obama&rsquo;s accomplishments. Others offer scathing critiques.</p> <p><u><strong>Most tend to focus on the Affordable Care Act (ACA), i.e. Obamacare, </strong></u>suggesting that reforming healthcare is one of his most important legacies.</p> <p>Maybe so.</p> <p>There are undoubtedly millions of people who now have medical insurance that never had insurance before.</p> <p>And that is certainly a noble accomplishment.</p> <p><strong>The problem is that focusing on this single metric is a terrible premise.</strong></p> <p>Millions of people are no longer uninsured. Check. But that&rsquo;s where their thinking stops.</p> <p><em><strong>What&rsquo;s the overall quality in the system? What&rsquo;s the cost?</strong></em></p> <p>Those metrics are conveniently overlooked.</p> <p>Not even two months ago, the Obama administration was forced to publicly <a href="http://bigstory.ap.org/article/62acdd911e4d44a5b855acf25122bd22/obama-administration-confirms-double-digit-premium-hikes" target="_blank">acknowledge</a> that healthcare premiums will rise by an average of 25% in just a single year under Obamacare.</p> <p>Plus, many consumers will only have a single option to choose from as a number of major insurance companies scale back insurance policies they offer.</p> <p>The administration also <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/14/us/national-health-spending-to-surpass-10000-per-person-in-2016.html" target="_blank">admitted </a>last year that overall healthcare spending continues to rise, surpassing $10,000 per person for the first time ever.</p> <p><strong>Then there&rsquo;s a question of quality and efficiency.</strong></p> <p>In 2016, a Johns Hopkins <a href="http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/media/releases/study_suggests_medical_errors_now_third_leading_cause_of_death_in_the_us" target="_blank">study</a> concluded that the number of preventable medical errors has soared in recent years and is now the third leading cause of death in the United States.</p> <p>Obviously no one can blame Barack Obama for this trend.</p> <p>But that&rsquo;s precisely the point: it&rsquo;s impossible for any program to be successful when the way you define success is so fundamentally flawed.</p> <p><em><strong>Obamacare focuses on one thing: coverage. Are more people insured? Yes. And in their mind, that makes it successful.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>But anyone who looks at the big picture will reach an entirely different conclusion.</strong></em></p> <p><em><strong>Premiums rose. Overall spending increased. Quality didn&rsquo;t improve. Americans aren&rsquo;t getting healthier.</strong></em></p> <p>(Not to mention the matter of that $2 billion website&hellip;)</p> <p>However noble the intentions, it&rsquo;s hard to consider these results a major success worthy of an enduring legacy.</p> <p><u><strong>Then there&rsquo;s the issue of jobs.</strong></u> President Obama has been credited with &lsquo;creating&rsquo; more than 11.3 million jobs.</p> <p>This entire premise, of course, is total nonsense.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s not like the President starts businesses and hires people. The only jobs the President creates are in government.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s the private sector that create jobs.</p> <p>And for a guy who once told entrepreneurs, &ldquo;you didn&rsquo;t build that,&rdquo; (referring to their businesses), he sure is quick to take credit for 11.3 million jobs created.</p> <p>But OK, let&rsquo;s play along and give him credit: creating 11.3 million jobs is a very noble accomplishment.</p> <p>Once again, however, this metric for success is flawed.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s the quality of those jobs? At what cost?</p> <p>Total &ldquo;goods-producing&rdquo; jobs, i.e. workers who make stuff, actually declined under the Obama presidency.</p> <p>Manufacturing jobs, construction jobs&hellip; even utilities and media jobs&hellip; all fell over the last eight years.</p> <p>Bear in mind that the US was already at the peak of recession when President Obama took office, with unemployment surging.</p> <p><strong>Yet today, goods-producing jobs are even below those dismal figures from 2009.</strong></p> <p><em><strong>So what jobs were created?</strong></em></p> <p>A good chunk of them are in healthcare, which sort of highlights the earlier point that Americans aren&rsquo;t getting healthier since they need even more workers to care for them.</p> <p>Additionally there were a lot of jobs created in the federal government.</p> <p>Plus a full 2 million of those new jobs have been waiters and bartenders.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m serious.</p> <p>At the beginning of the Obama presidency in 2009, there were 9.5 million waiters and bartenders in the United States.</p> <p>Today there&rsquo;s 11.5 million waiters and bartenders.</p> <p>So it&rsquo;s not like all these millions of workers who supposedly owe their jobs to President Obama are out there discovering the cure for cancer.</p> <p>Then you have to look at cost.</p> <p><strong>Despite these 11.3 million new jobs, the number of food stamp recipients in the Land of the Free Lunch increased by 13.9 million during the Obama administration.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>Plus, during his 8-years in office, the Obama administration spent a record $28.7 TRILLION and registered a $10 trillion increase in the national debt.</strong></u></p> <p>This means that every job President Obama supposedly created cost the American taxpayer $885,000 in debt. Per job.</p> <p>This is a pretty pitiful return on investment.</p> <p>And that&rsquo;s really the bottom line. <u><strong>Debt lasts.</strong></u></p> <p><em>One day his Supreme Court justices will retire. Obamacare may be repealed. History will forget about his charisma and charm.</em></p> <p><em>Edward Snowden may eventually return home. The 500,000+ pages of regulations his administration issued will be replaced.</em></p> <p><em>And even the families of all the innocent victims who were accidentally killed in his drone strikes may move on with their lives.</em></p> <p><u><strong>But the debt will still be there.</strong></u></p> <p>Consider this: in the last two weeks alone, the Treasury Department has auctioned off tens of billions of dollars worth of debt in the form of 30-year bonds.</p> <p><strong>This means that a child who won&rsquo;t even be born until 2030 will have some high school summer job in late 2046, and an increasing chunk of his income will be taxed to pay off the debt that Treasury Department borrowed a few days ago.</strong></p> <p>That&rsquo;s a legacy which outlasts everything else.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_lol.jpg"><img height="379" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_lol.jpg" width="585" /></a></p> <p><a href="https://www.sovereignman.com/expat/summing-up-8-years-of-barack-obama-20697/"><u><em><strong>Do <span class="underline_text">you</span> have a Plan B?</strong></em></u></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="585" height="379" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170120_lol.jpg?1484930124" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/summing-8-years-barack-obama#comments B+ Barack Obama Barack Obama Department of the Treasury federal government Insurance Companies National Debt Obama Administration Obama administration Obamacare Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Presidency of Barack Obama President Obama Progressivism in the United States Recession Statutory law Supreme Court Treasury Department Unemployment United States Fri, 20 Jan 2017 22:15:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 586013 at http://www.zerohedge.com Brazilians Stunned By Death Of Supreme Court Justice Ahead Of "Explosive Testimony" http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/brazilians-stunned-death-supreme-court-justice-ahead-explosive-testimony <p>The death of Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Teori Zavascki who had presided over the sprawling "Carwash" corruption scandal, and who died yesterday in a freak airplane crash has sent shockwaves both around the globe and in Brazil, because while few in polite company will discuss it, it has opened the possibility of political assassinations as a means of "quieting" legal proceedings. </p> <p>And as <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-corruption-analysis-idUSKBN1542JN">Reuters reports today</a>, while the death of the judge will likely not derail the country's biggest ever graft probe, it will delay it, "handing valuable breathing space to President Michel Temer" who many have accused of being even more corrupt than his predecessor. </p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/zavascki.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2017/01/15/zavascki_0.jpg" width="500" height="287" /></a></p> <p>While there is no evidence yet of "foul play", the timing of the death is oddly coincidental, especially since the upcoming revelations could have had damaging implications for Brazil's still relatively new president Temer. </p> <p>As <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-19/brazil-justice-presiding-over-carwash-corruption-scandal-among-passengers-crashed-je">a reminder, </a>Justice Zavascki was killed in a plane crash on Thursday, "<strong>just weeks before he was due to unveil explosive testimony from executives at engineering group Odebrecht SA that is expected to implicate as many as 200 politicians in a vast kickback scandal</strong>" <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-corruption-analysis-idUSKBN1542JN">Reuters notes</a>. </p> <p>While the Police are investigating the crash in which a small, twin-prop plane that was carrying him plunged into the sea south of Rio de Janeiro during heavy rain, it is unlikely that they will find anything damaging.</p> <p>And now, thanks to the tragic delay, postponing the fallout from evidence that could incriminate powerful political figures in Temer's coalition, and perhaps Temer himself, gives the president more time to push through reforms to generous pension and labor rules and restore business confidence in a country stuck in a two-year recession. </p> <p>Temer has already lost four cabinet members to corruption allegations. Several other ministers and leaders of his PMDB party in Congress have been named in Odebrecht plea deals, raising concern about the survival of his government.&nbsp; </p> <p>"This can give Temer more room to move ahead with his reform agenda in Congress but Zavascki's death won't stall or change the course of the investigations," said <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-corruption-analysis-idUSKBN1542JN">Thiago de Aragao quoted by Reuters</a>, partner at ARKO consultancy that advises corporations and banks on investment in Brazil. "It will just pause it for a while." Temer, <strong>who has himself been named by one defendant as a recipient of illegal campaign funds, has said he will rapidly appoint a new justice who, under Supreme Court rules, would take over Zavascki's cases</strong>.</p> <p>"In the short-run, any delay works in Temer's favor because it will put off the instability that the new accusations will bring," said Roberto Dias, a constitutional law professor at the FGV think tank in Sao Paulo. "But it's bad for Brazil."</p> <p>And since Temer will likely try to float a judge "friendly" to his cause, it will be up to the Brazilian Senate to confirm him. That process, however, will weeks if not months after Congress returns from its Christmas recess in February. The new judge would then need to get up to speed on the sprawling corruption investigation, dubbed Operation Car Wash, which is centered on bribes and political kickbacks from state-run companies, principally oil company Petróleo Brasileiro S.A., commonly known as Petrobras. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"Zavascki was ready to resolve Car Wash promptly and take decisions that would clear up who could stay in government or Congress and who had to go," said Ives Gandra Martins, a constitutional lawyer in Sao Paulo.</p> </blockquote> <p>And, as Reuters adds, those decisions will be delayed until at least March or April, Martins said, preventing Brazil from turning the page on a corruption probe so massive and complex it paralyzed public sector construction projects and deepened the recession. </p> <p>That, however, is too long for some Brazilians who want to know which of their leaders were embroiled in the scandal that involved at least 6.4 billion reais ($2 billion) in bribes for contracts with state-run enterprises. More details:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In Brazil, federal politicians and other senior officials can only be tried by the Supreme Court. Given the public's suspicion of politicians, the Supreme Court should opt for a rule that in urgent cases lets it name a replacement from its ranks, rather than wait for Temer's nominee, said left-leaning Senator Cristovam Buarque. </p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>"Any presidential choice would be questionable," Buarque said in a telephone interview. "It has got to be quick. Brazil cannot wait another six months. We want to know what happened and who should be punished."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Resistance to Temer subverting the judicial process is rising and at least one justice on the 11-seat court, Marco Aurelio Mello, has come out publicly in favor of one of his peers immediately taking charge of Car Wash. Though he was appointed by impeached former President Dilma Rousseff, the 68-year-old Zavascki had gained a reputation as independent and willing to target corrupt politicians of any stripe, including Rousseff's Workers Party. </p> <p>"In the short-run, any delay works in Temer's favor because it will put off the instability that the new accusations will bring," said Roberto Dias, a constitutional law professor at the FGV think tank in Sao Paulo. "But it's bad for Brazil."</p> <p>Meanwhile, as Reuters concludes, "for Brazilians dismayed by the scandals that Car Wash has uncovered, Zavascki's death - whether an accident or not - was just the latest reason to lose faith in their institutions. " </p> <p>"His death will delay the Odebrecht testimony and, depending on who takes over, the Car Wash investigation could take a different course," said Rio de Janeiro systems analyst Bruno Bokel. "I do not believe in our justice system."</p> <p>And with yet another country's population "losing faith" in its political institutions, Brazil is now ripe to be the next nation where an "anti establishment" candidate sweeps control from the status quo and changes the course of local history in the process </p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="780" height="447" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/zavascki.jpg?1484946667" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/brazilians-stunned-death-supreme-court-justice-ahead-explosive-testimony#comments Brazil Brazil Brazilian Senate Brazilian Supreme Court Congress Corruption Dilma Rousseff FGV Impeachment of Dilma Rousseff Michel Temer Odebrecht Operation Car Wash PMDB party Politics of Brazil Presidents of Brazil Recession Reuters South America Testimony Workers Party Fri, 20 Jan 2017 21:58:55 +0000 Tyler Durden 586015 at http://www.zerohedge.com Obama Makes Stunning Admission About WikiLeaks In Final Press Conference http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/obama-makes-incredible-admission-about-wikileaks-final-press-conference <p><a href="http://theantimedia.org/obama-admission-press-conference/"><em>Submitted by Alice Salles via TheAntiMedia.org,</em></a></p> <p>President Barack Obama&rsquo;s last press conference was a success, but <strong> only if you consider journalistic incompetence worthy of praise.</strong></p> <p><strong><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_obamapr.jpg"><img height="311" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2017/01/17/20170120_obamapr_0.jpg" width="600" /></a></strong></p> <p>During the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/politics/obama-final-press-conference.html?_r=0" target="_blank">one-hour affair</a>, Obama answered questions ranging from the <a href="http://theantimedia.org/chelsea-manning-story-tells-us-justice/" target="_blank">commutation</a> of whistleblower Chelsea Manning&rsquo;s sentence to personal queries concerning his and First Lady Michelle Obama&rsquo;s approach when talking to their daughters about the 2016 election &mdash; <strong>not quite a hard-hitting last inquiry for an outgoing president who, as the <em>Los Angeles Times </em>recently noted, managed to <a href="http://www.latimes.com/projects/la-na-pol-obama-at-war/" target="_blank">keep</a> U.S. military forces &ldquo;<em>at war for all eight years of [his] tenure</em>.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>But despite the media&rsquo;s toothless strategy &mdash; showing the established press doesn&rsquo;t understand its own <a href="https://www.reference.com/world-view/press-called-fourth-estate-d9eee0cb98632d05" target="_blank">role</a> in a free society &mdash; <u><strong>the outgoing president made at least one admission most of the media has also ignored.</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>Around the eight-minute mark of the press conference, Obama <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/us/politics/obama-final-press-conference.html?_r=0" target="_blank">says</a> he hasn&rsquo;t &ldquo;<em>commented on WikiLeaks generally</em>,&rdquo; and that the &ldquo;<em>conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the [Democratic National Committee] DNC e-mails that were leaked</em>.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>To <a href="https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/about-craig-murray/" target="_blank">Craig Murray</a>, an author, broadcaster, and human rights activist, <u><strong>Obama&rsquo;s comment clarified that the U.S. government <a href="https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/01/stunning-admission-obama-wikileaks/" target="_blank">has</a> &ldquo;<em>no evidence of how WikiLeaks got the DNC material</em>.&rdquo;</strong></u></p> <p>Obama&rsquo;s statement is important, Murray continues, because it<strong> &ldquo;<em>undermines the stream of completely evidence-free nonsense that has been emerging from the [U.S.] intelligence services this last two months, in which a series of suppositions have been strung together to make unfounded assertions that have been repeated again and again in the mainstream media</em>.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>Referring to the emails &ldquo;<em>that were leaked</em>&rdquo; and not the servers that were hacked, Murray adds, Obama appears to agree with <a href="http://theantimedia.org/intel-vets-obama-proof-russian-hacking/" target="_blank">several experts</a> on this subject, making it clear the entire ordeal revolving around the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is but a smokescreen.</p> <p><strong>&ldquo;<em>I have been repeating that this was a leak, not a hack, until I am blue in the face</em>,&rdquo; </strong>Murray added. But he isn&rsquo;t the only one. William Binney, a whistleblower who previously worked as Technical Director of the National Security Agency (NSA), has also <a href="http://theantimedia.org/nsa-whistleblower-dnc-russia/" target="_blank">stated</a> this incident wasn&rsquo;t a hack. It was a leak.</p> <p>If it had been a hack, Binney <a href="https://soundcloud.com/breitbart/nsa-whistleblower-tells-aaron-klein-agency-has-all-of-hillarys-emails" target="_blank">said</a>, the NSA would be able to provide the public with details regarding the actual attack. But from the reports presented so far, that&rsquo;s clearly not the case.</p> <p><strong>Adding that Obama&rsquo;s reference to the leaked material &ldquo;<em>appears very natural, fluent and unforced</em>,&rdquo; Murray <a href="https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/01/stunning-admission-obama-wikileaks/" target="_blank">celebrates</a>, saying that it &ldquo;<em>is good to have the truth finally told</em>.&rdquo;</strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="714" height="370" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/20170120_obamapr.jpg?1484935951" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-20/obama-makes-incredible-admission-about-wikileaks-final-press-conference#comments 2016: Obama's America Barack Obama Chelsea Manning Democratic National Committee Film Gender LGBT national security National Security Agency Politics US government Fri, 20 Jan 2017 21:43:27 +0000 Tyler Durden 586007 at http://www.zerohedge.com